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by djantzen (Priest)
on Jan 03, 2003 at 00:43 UTC ( #223916=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Over the past couple of weeks I've noticed a marked increase in hostility around here. I do not know if it's holiday depression, maybe mass Seasonal Affective Disorder (for those of us up north anyway), or perhaps anxiety about the state of the world, but from unwarranted downvoting to wholesale gratuitous lambasting of unsuspecting and innocent (and typically lower/no-ranking) targets, grumpiness has been on the rise. This is not what the Monastery is all about. If you suddenly feel an uncharacteristic urge to flame, ridicule, berate, or abuse, chill the frell out. If, on the other hand, the feeling is neither sudden nor uncharacteristic, apply for work at the Fox "News" Channel.

To that end, here are some suggestions I'd like to share:

  • Go for a walk, go to the gym, have a nice dinner, but simply get away from your machine. It will be there when you get back, and so will the thing that got your goat. However, a well-fed and exercised programmer makes for a much better goat catcher.

  • Spend some time in Confessional. Reflect on posts like 1st Monasterians and Spirit of the Monastery.

  • If you have one, toss that Xmas tree into the wood chipper; damn that's fun. Alternatively, chew on a piece of tire.

  • Remind yourself what it's like to browse Slashdot at -1. If that doesn't make you thankful for what we have here, then clearly you are a hopeless ingrate.

Your Friend, fever

Comment on Ceasefire
Re: Ceasefire
by adrianh (Chancellor) on Jan 03, 2003 at 01:09 UTC


    (Adrian resolves not to be grumpy this year :-)

Re: Ceasefire
by Anonymous Monk on Jan 03, 2003 at 02:08 UTC
    If you have one, toss that Xmas tree into the wood chipper; damn that's fun. Alternatively, chew on a piece of tire.

    Did anyone else immediately think of Fargo?

    On a serious note, I've noticed a strange phenomenon amongst programmers over the years. It seems that the more specialized their work is and the more limited their tools and are, the more frustrated they get. The programmers who consistently use a wide variety of languages/tools and work in diverse areas seem far more satisfied with their craft.

    Lack of fundamental knowledge about how computers actually work also seems to frustrate many. Ask yourself if you really know exactly how your Perl code using Tk ends up creating the pretty (oh wait, I said Tk, forget the pretty part ;) images on the screen. Not just a vague idea, but everything, down to the total understanding of the hardware involved.

    So in conclusion: don't limit yourselves to one language, one website, one perspective. You'll enjoy the profession a lot more.

      Or maybe it just comes with the job, regardless of skill/tools/etc (someone shoudl do a study, programmers would make good lab rats). Although often the flames are our first, and hopefully last (riiight) 8-P.

Re: Ceasefire
by pg (Canon) on Jan 03, 2003 at 03:23 UTC
    Doesn't sound like you have a fever ;-O

    I noticed the same thing. I have a little remind to each of us, definitely include myself:

    When another monk has a little discussion with you, he just doesn't agree with your point, might even hate your point, but he definitely doesn't hate you as a person.

    I feel grateful and lucky, that we have this chance to meet in this virtual world. I never met any other monks in person, but some of the names become so familiar to me through past two monthes. Now even my wife knows that there is a monk PodMaster, who likes to play his sick game to other people ;-) People just become so vivid, like a real co-worker of mine.

    There are times you feel pissed off because of some replies. That's normal, that's life. If one of the two has to stop FIRST, why not me? If both of us don't want to take the first step, to show the beauty of life, there would be a deadlock. (DEADLOCK, sounds familiar to us, doesn't it?)
      Doesn't sound like you have a fever

      Guess what? I got a fever! And the only prescription.. is more cowbell!

Re: Ceasefire
by earthboundmisfit (Chaplain) on Jan 03, 2003 at 12:07 UTC
    I do not know if it's holiday depression, maybe mass Seasonal Affective Disorder (for those of us up north anyway), or perhaps anxiety about the state of the world

    This happens every year to every virtual community I've ever been a part of (and I've been a part of too many to remember). I guess anyone who knows me even a little knows that I spend a lot of time fishing. Well, in fishing circles in the Northeast US, we refer to this time of year as the shack nasties -- an ugly and dangerous time when egos run amok and wives place locks over fish tank lids. It's a form of cabin fever I guess -- that feeling that, even though you've measured it four times, you'd swear the walls in your home office are six inches closer together than they were in the summer. Some believe physical space defines everything in human culture. (By way of example, look at what happened to European cultures after the chimmney was invented and private rooms within a home became possible).

    In a virtual setting, the confines of differing opinions and perspectives seem to close in on people and fights break out on a daily basis. Cyberspace is limitless, but when personalities clash, it can seem like a broom closet.

    Going for a walk sounds trite and simplistic, at least to my ears, but it really does help.

    Peace unto to the monks and tight lines to my fellow fishing freaks.

    ---- I am what I read

      ...look at what happened to European cultures after the chimney was invented and private rooms within a home became possible...

      What did happen? I'm curious, and I don't recall any history lessons on that topic.

        Some argue it laid the basis for the modern nuclear family. Have a look at this excellent scholarly work by Jon L. Berquist.

        sorry for the off topic.

        ---- I am what I read

Re: Ceasefire
by shotgunefx (Parson) on Jan 03, 2003 at 18:43 UTC
    I think other factors include, answering the same posts over and over. Reading "My script don't work. Here's no code or hint about what I'm actually trying do to. What should I do?" gets old quick. It can be trying on the patience when you see a lot of "no effort" posts.

    I think the other is when some people reach a certain level in a given field, that just start acting like pompous "know it alls". I've met more than a few people who while very gifted in their respective fields, seem to have social skills that are inversely proportional to their technical proficiency.

    My personal feeling is "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." (Unless it's a flamebait or otherwise questionable content), If I see a post that irks me due to lack of due diligence, etc I just decline to comment.

    From day one, the thing I found great about the Monestary was that the attitude matched the name in spirit. Being an outsider I could ask a question without getting flamed or otherwise put down. I hope it can stay this way.


    "To be civilized is to deny one's nature."
Re: Ceasefire
by andye (Curate) on Jan 03, 2003 at 23:27 UTC
    Hi fever,

    I've been away for some time - though I have popped in now and then to see how things are going - so I'm not really informed on recent happenings - but I thought it might be relevant to mention John Suler's Life Cycle of Mailing Lists...

    Final state of an online discussion is either...

    6a. Smug complacency and stagnation (the purists flame everyone who asks an 'old' question or responds with humor to a serious post; newbies are rebuffed; traffic drops to a doze-producing level of a few minor issues; all interesting discussions happen by private email and are limited to a few participants; the purists spend lots of time self-righteously congratulating each other on keeping off-topic threads off the list).


    6b. Maturity (a few people quit in a huff; the rest of the participants stay near stage 4, with stage 5 popping up briefly every few weeks; many people wear out their second or third 'delete' key, but the list lives contentedly ever after).

    In other words, these things are absolutely normal from time to time. As long as the monastery is closer to (b) than (a), there isn't too much to worry about... though your post seems timely and certainly contains much good advice.

    IMHO, the solution for those who're getting wound up is simply to drop out for a few weeks - somehow everything'll seem to be at a much lower emotional pitch when you return.

    All the best,

Re: Ceasefire
by Anonymous Monk on Jan 04, 2003 at 01:35 UTC
    ... I agree with what you have to say. By the same token, people do have emotions, and sometimes it's frustrating to see the umpteenth post about how to 'parse a simple file'. Most people that I know go to perlmonks either for reference while working, or to *relax* while learning something... anyways, if I ever get too frustrated, there's always Grand Theft Auto, Worms or Postal... :-)
Re: Ceasefire
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on Jan 04, 2003 at 15:03 UTC

    If, on the other hand, the feeling is neither sudden nor uncharacteristic, apply for work at the Fox "News" Channel.

    [ .. ]

    If that doesn't make you thankful for what we have here, then clearly you are a hopeless ingrate.

    Brother fever, why the caustic tone? ;^)

    (And actually I am struggling with S.A.D.. it hasn't had much impact on my demeanour though. On the other hand, my family doesn't celebrate christmas or anything similar and in watching those who do, I am glad about it. Please don't jump to such broad sweeping conclusions on the basis of pyschological disorders. Such an illness is part of a person, but doesn't define them.)

    Makeshifts last the longest.

OT -- to be deleted
by NodeReaper (Curate) on Jan 07, 2003 at 03:01 UTC

    Reason: data64 Unneeded post. The link was already present in the original node

    For more information on this node visit: this

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